What am I reading? July-Aug. 2019

I’ve done a lot of good reading this summer, the bulk of it for summer UBC courses.
One of my summer courses was “Teaching with Children’s Literature.” A treat! It was a great excuse to revisit favourites, explore, & discover new treasures.
Here are a few of the gems I’d love to share with you, in my library, & in classrooms:

Picture books

Bearnard’s Book by Deborah Underwood & Misa Saburi – A bear auditions for his story. Looking Down by Steve Jenkins – A wordless journey from space to the backyard.
The Wall in the Middle of the Book by Jon Agee – A brave knight believes the wall protects one side of the book from the other… or, does it?!
The Water Princess by Susan Verde & Peter Reynolds – Based on supermodel Georgie Badiel’s African childhood, this lovely, lyrical story shares important information.

Animals by the Numbers: A book of infographics by Steve Jenkins – Interesting!
You Are Stardust by Elin Kelsey & Soyeon Kim – Stunning artwork shares that we are intimately connected to nature. This is science that reads like poetry.

Junior fiction
El Deafo by Cece Bell – A graphic novel memoir about growing up.
Front Desk by Kelly Yang – A 2019 middle grade Global Read Aloud.
Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke – An intergalactic hero to cheer for!

YA lit
Internment by Samira Ahmed – 17-year-old Layla & her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim-Americans. Dystopian, or real life?

Seeing those 4 book covers together now, I realize a big take-away from this summer’s readings have been to notice the recent kid-lit growth in diverse & cultural voices.

There are 2 books that my verdict is out on. I’m undecided if I’ll continue reading them. Though I feel these books have real & authentic cultural merit, I just don’t think they’re very well-written, which is disappointing as I did want to like them:

George by Alex Gino – A girl was born a boy, but is determined to realize her dream.
Those Who Run in the Sky by Aviaq Johnston – An Inuit comes-of-age in the spirit world.


Sadly, I slogged through a few duds, too. I felt they were good ideas, poorly written.
I’m not saying these books won’t interest the right reader, that person just wasn’t me:

Billy Stuart & the Zintrepids by Alain Bergeron & Sampar –
A ‘Geronimo Stilton’-style romp, sprinkled with puzzles & games.
Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky – Grayson’s true self itches to be set free.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – A seductive world of magic.

My final summer UBC assignment was submitted today, so I now have 2 & a half weeks of an actual summer break ahead of me! Annnnnd…. I’m not sure what to read next!






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